WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) offered support for H.R. 1767, the Freeing Alternatives for Speedy Transportation (FAST) Act yesterday. The legislation, introduced by Representative Mark Kennedy (R-MN) on April 11, 2003, repeals the outdated prohibition in order to permit expansion on congested interstate corridors paid for by user-fees.
"The plan creates a new revenue stream to fund new roads without increasing the federal gasoline tax," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "By eliminating an outdated federal restriction, Congress can provide a new avenue to fund transportation needs."
In an effort to support the plan, ATR is working in with Representative Kennedy and other members of the House of Representatives to find new innovative ways to support transportation without raising the federal gas tax and indexing it to inflation.
The FAST act removes the prohibition and allows for the construction of FAST lanes. FAST lanes are a user-choice option, where those who use them pay for additional interstate capacity. Fees are collected from drivers, that voluntary use the new FAST lanes, by means of non-cash electronic technology. This means no tolls and no tollbooths.
However, the greatest benefit is that the fees collected are dedicated only to the road that is being used. In addition, once the revenues pay off the costs of the expanded interstate facility, the fee collection is terminated.
"Current proposals to raise the gas tax are ill timed and unhelpful to efforts to institute much needed tax relief for the American people," said Norquist. "The FAST Act empowers states with the ability to solve their own problems, creates a new revenue stream states can use to solve congestion on crowded interstates, and does not raise the federal gas tax by one cent."